Task. As a team, visually represent your answers to the two prompts on the board. You have two pieces of paper, an assortment of markers, and ten minutes. Go.
As we prepare to begin our exploration of new territories next week, I wanted to check in with the kids to see how our discussions on mindset have come to rest in their brains and if they are buying into the power that our attitudes hold over our learning. So, I gave them the above-mentioned task as a way for them to demonstrate their grasp of the importance of having a growth mindset as we set forth on our journey. I could not be more pleased with the outcome.
A like an iceberg. So, apparently, but not surprisingly, word has gotten around about the gifted A’s and other students are giving my students a hard time, calling them lazy and lucky, telling them that it’s not fair, and that it’s too easy (see graphic above, top left.) Fortunately, from our work this week, the kids have been able to turn that criticism into a positive, demonstrating their grasp of the “unseen,” and ultimately what that gift can be in the end. In the other graphic (above top right) I was pleased that the kids see the “unseen” as something to prove, something to earn, separate from what was given, the “seen.” In the end, we can’t control what others see or don’t, but we can control our own attitudes, our own beliefs. Right now, the kids have right attitude to move forward with their own journeys towards success–real success.
Yet like a bridge. So pleased that the kids made the connection of yet’s ability to lead them from can’t to can. I was particularly struck by the words in the bottom right graphic.
“The road before the bridge is the “I can’t” phase, but you have to be brave to get to the “yet.” Once you get to the “yet” bridge, you have the courage to try and push yourself. Before you know it, you’re on the other side of the bridge and you can do it!”
For the bottom left graphic, I was pleased that the kids were able to apply “yet” to a broader context, taking it beyond the walls of 211.
“I don’t understand math…yet.”
“I don’t understand my Spanish homework…yet.”
“I can’t do my AP history work…yet.”
And that, I believe, is every teacher’s hope. We hope that the kids can take their learning and apply it to their lives beyond our classrooms, that they can find relevance, that they can find meaning. It is this that makes it worthwhile. It is this that makes our days. Yesterday, the kids made mine.
Today, we read to learn. Friday’s will be “read-to-learn” days in 211. I give the kids complete freedom over what they read, as long as they are reading. Some will read novels. Some will read magazines. Some may read comics. Some may read news from their phones. On these days, what they read doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is that they are reading. When we read, we learn, and we are more likely to read–really read–when we get to choose. Ah, the power of choice.
Fridays are also reflection days. The kids’ daily reflections will focus on what they learned from their reading. The weekly reflection will be an answer to the week’s quest question, soon to be QUESTion. Our question this week: “To what degree does our attitude impact our ability to grow?” Excited to see what the kids reveal.
Happy Friday, all. Next week we journey forth into more academic areas on the map, areas that require a certain mindset. I think my young adventurers are ready. Have a great weekend.